Metal buildings in the summer... some surprises

When we chose the metal building for our winery, we knew it would look like a barrel half buried in the ground. We also knew that (counter-intuitively) it would be cooler in the summer. We were told that when insulated, the steel would reflect 85% of the radiant heat from sunlight. Part-way through the construction, we became very aware of this fact as every day I spent putting in one of the 10000 odd bolts that hold the beast together meant a night home with another sunburn. Now, I should mention that I do not tan... I incinerate. I blame my mother who was born in Transylvania. I was quite certain that one day, Claire would find my clothes filled with dust on deck of the scissor lift. Close to a year later, I am very thankful for that decision. The past few weeks have been very hot here in Eastern Ontario. With June temperatures outside running in the high 30s (90s for my American friends) it was a relief to see that investment pay off as the building is about 10 degrees cooler than the outside temperature. Sure, it's still warm-ish inside, but nothing like the outdoor temperature. The addition of a screen door promotes a breeze and keeps it tolerable... a far cry from last November when we needed multiple layers to keep the blood from gelling in our veins. Now that all the exterior walls are insulated, it really is quite nice... although, I probably need to put a portable A/C unit in the cold room. All I am missing now is the tan, but that's normal. Good thing the wine is on ice! ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Louis Gaal is the winemaker (and spouse of the ever patient Claire Faguy) at Blue Gypsy Wines in Oxford Mills, Ontario Canada, 45 minutes south of Ottawa. You can find this raving lunatic using the BlueGypsyWines Facebook or Twitter account. Visit them on the web as well at

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